HAPPY EARTH DAY! (almost)
We had an ecology flag when I was in elementary school which was created in 1967 by the Paramount Flag Company in San Francisco. It was just like the American flag but all the blue was replaced by dark green and all the red was replaced with light green. The flag pictured here is the ecology flag that was created in 1969 by Ron Cobb and is the one we recognize today. The graphic within the flag is a combination of the letters “E” and “O” taken from the words “Environment” and “Organism”.
Now, 40 years later, it’s so nice to see that Earth Day is still celebrated and each year with more fanfare. My wish, however, would be that people would get this excited about the Earth every day! My family and I don’t live a perfect “Earth Worshiping” life each and every day, but each and every day, we try harder.
What can we do to help our Mother Earth? Well, of course there’s the basic, simple things we can do: Use reusable water and coffee containers; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Turn the water off when we are brushing our teeth; Use a low-flow shower head; Use cloth napkins at each meal (and real plates); Composte food scraps and yard waste; Turn the lights off; Change up the lightbulbs; Unplug items when not in use (no vampires in our house!), etc. But isn’t there more??
• Well, you may not be in the market for a new hybrid or electric car, but you can cut down on your driving, use you bike or your legs – better yet, talk your boss into letting you work from home.
• You may not be able to get off the electric grid, but maybe you can start with reducing the amount of electricity you use. Dry your clothes outside during the summer, turn everything off when not in-use or better yet unplug it.
• Insulate your home so it’s not wasting energy and buy a programable thermostat. These two things will not only save energy, but save you $$
• When you update your home, keep natural products in mind, like bamboo or cork flooring, countertops made from recycled wastepaper and be sure to use low VOC paints. (check out GreenHomeGuide.com)
• Pay your bills on line.
• Use the window and fresh air instead of air conditioning.
• Check the labels of everything you purchase.
• Go Vegetarian (or at least 1 – 2 meatless meals per week). It takes a lot of resources for that 1/4 pounder!
• Carry your reusable bags with you EVERYWHERE! Not just the grocery store (although that’s a good start) but any kind of shopping you do.
• Shop at Farmers Markets or a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) find one near you OR grow your own fruits and veggies! Local and organic is best! http://www.farmersmarketonline.com/fm/Michigan.html also check this out http://www.csafarms.org/
• Check the tires on your car.
• Pay attention to the packaging of products you buy – if there’s a lot of waste don’t buy it or at least recycle it.
• Consume less… share more… live simply.
So – this isn’t the most overwhelming list – it’s all doable and you can do more and more each day. Start small and build and if each of us do, our children will be able to celebrate Earth Day with their children! To quote a Native American Proverb ” We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”.
Be well and Namaste…